Homemade Laundry Detergent

With a family of four, and two little ones in cloth diapers, we go through a lot of laundry detergent. I typically use a 64-load bottle in one month. 

I was really disappointed to read
my everyday detergent, Seventh Generation, received a score of D (for containing ingredients "with potential for acute aquatic toxicity; developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects/respiratory effects"), so I set out to make my own green, budget-friendly alternative. 

Dr. Bronner's soaps are a staple in my home, alongside baking soda. I use that for pretty much everything, so why not laundry detergent? This recipe works really well, even on ground in food and soiled diapers for normal loads of laundry, but doesn't cut it for heavily soiled clothes or dirty cloth diapers. For really tough stains, I apply Dr. Bronner's directly to the stain and toss it in the wash. I use my cloth diaper detergent.

Laundry Detergent:

To make one gallon of detergent (equals 64 loads), you'll need:
  • 1 cup Dr. Bronner's pure castile liquid soap (I used peppermint)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup salt
In a pot over medium heat, warm 2 cups water. Add salt and baking soda and stir until dissolved. Pour into a one-gallon container. (I upcycled my old container of fabric softener since it had a nice little spout on it. I washed it out first.) Add Dr. Bronner's soap and fill the remainder of the gallon container with water. Use 1/4 cup of laundry soap per load. Since I have a tendency to be heavy-handed, I found it helpful to mark the cap so I knew how much to fill it.

13 lbs. baking soda = $10, or $0.38 per batch
26 oz. salt  = $2, or $0.21 per batch
1 gallon Dr. Bronners $60, or $7.50 per batch


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